From computer science to agriculture is only one step
It depends only on the will. He wanted to live differently and he’s been proving that for four years now. This is the destiny of Andrei Barbu, settled, with all his family, in the Ialomita commune Valea Măcrișului. Here he grows vegetables and vegetables. It’s his business. Much more spectacular than it seems at first glance.
It can be strange to hear precisely a man of computers say that we must go back to our roots, to humanity, because it is not the figures, the glass and the concrete, in the midst of which we live, that are our right way. That’s how I started towards Urziceni, then exiting the big road, towards Moldova, to take it then on secondary paths, full of potholes, to the place where the silence surrounded me completely, in the village of Valea Măcrișului. Beautiful and symbolic name. Here, in this corner of Ialomita County. It brings a freshness to your plate. That it is precisely about food freed from the constraints of the Modene civilization that I talk to Andrei Barbu, who first specialized in computers, after which he left everything in the puddle and left like this, one day, where he saw with his eyes. To a completely different world. To do agriculture.
“Health tastes like it”
We meet on the main street. Andrew comes with a white van. With her she carries the merchandise. Young man, he just finished college in 2007 – Polytechnic University of Bucharest, the city where he was born. Two years, after college, as an assistant professor. There was no shortage of work in his field in the private market either. All the future in front, in the Capital, among concrete and computers. Until the year 2009 came and then said stop. We are now holding on to his car, all the way to the farm. Good luck with these rains lately, that the dust on the streets has settled. We end up in a wide courtyard, among the solariums, a tractor, other machinery, a barn. Another man comes out to meet, Andrei’s father, Gheorghe Barbu, about whom I find out that he is a geologist by profession. From him Andrew took the taste of the earth, I find out afterwards. The father cultivated aromatic plants, somewhere in Oltenia, for a long time. Everywhere, here, around me, in this yard, all kinds of seedlings. Let’s go to the barn, to talk, among the bags with seeds of all kinds. And many other outbuildings. A moment of respite for Andrei, who also goes to the field, and took the goods to customers, and to conferences in Bucharest, where he talks about a completely different lifestyle, healthy. “Yes, health has taste!” he exclaims at one point.
He returned to the hearth of his great-grandparents
To see that nothing is accidental in this world! Andrei had raised some money, until 2009, from his basic job. He also made a loan at the bank. That’s when he told his father that he wanted something else in life. “I supported him in everything he wanted to do,” the father says. But it had to be started from scratch. You do agriculture, you need land. Father and son went through Bărăgan for two months. “We went through about 20 communes. Everywhere I was wondering about the earth. We were leaving behind us announcements”, says Andrei. They also passed through the Măcriș Valley. And here’s a little story – destiny makes Andrei’s father to be born in Calarasi. But where do you think they were from? “The great-grandmother from Ion Roată, and the great-grandfather from Valea Măcrișului”, says Gheorghe. But those people, in their lives, then, long ago, moved more towards the Danube, to Calarasi. These villages, which I have mentioned now, Valea Măcrișului and Ion Roată, are a short distance from each other, in Ialomița. And here’s what happens after so much bitter time since the displacement of the grandparents – the great-grandson buys land right in the Măcriș Valley. After how many announcements he had put through the communes where he passed, the first phone call he received was taman from the village of his ancestors. “It was the call of the earth,” exclaims Andrew’s father.
Self-taught in agriculture
Half acre of land he bought at first, then, in the same village, other land, up to the 16 hectares he now owns. Andrei talks about the land degradation in Bărăgan, because of the intensive agriculture. He learned, as a self-taught, about agriculture, books and the Internet serving him perfectly. People in this village looked at it, at first, strangely. They didn’t really understand what a little guy of stature was looking for, with fine fingers, of Bucharest, with the air of the office man, especially when they saw him with the hoe in his hand or in the tractor cab. “The people here are nice”, continues Andrei’s father, on the idea that, in the end, the “cohabitation” between the two worlds was done quite quickly and now works flawlessly.